- Isamu Noguchi
- Akari & Shop
On May 16, 2017, The Noguchi Museum held its annual Spring Benefit and the presentation of the fourth annual Isamu Noguchi Award to architectural designer John Pawson and artist Hiroshi Senju. There was also a silent auction of works including Noguchi’s metal sculpture Sky Above (1988), two Leah Raintree photographs—Another Land: Sun at Noon (2016) and Another Land: Emanation (2016), and Robert Stadler’s ashlar PDT (bench) (2015).
John Pawson was born in 1949 in Yorkshire. After a period in the family textile business he left for Japan, spending several years teaching English at the University of Nagoya. Following his return to England, he enrolled at the Architectural Association in London, establishing his own practice in 1981.
Pawson has spent over thirty years making rigorously simple architecture that speaks of the fundamentals but is also modest in character. His body of work spans a broad range of scales and typologies, from private houses, sacred commissions, galleries, hotels, airport lounges, ballet sets, yacht interiors and a bridge across a lake. In 2016 he completed his first major public project – the interior remodeling of the former Commonwealth Institute building in London, an iconic example of post-war British Modernism, as the new permanent home of the Design Museum. From the outset his work has focused on ways of approaching fundamental problems of space, proportion, light and materials – themes explored in his book Minimum, which examines the notion of simplicity in art, architecture and design.
Born in Tokyo in 1958, painter Hiroshi Senju is noted worldwide for his sublime waterfall and cliff images, which are often monumental in scale. He combines a minimalist visual language rooted in Abstract Expressionism with ancient painting techniques unique to Japan. Senju is widely recognized as one of the few contemporary masters of the thousand-year-old nihonga style of painting, using pigments made from minerals, ground stone, shell, and corals suspended in animal-hide glue. Evoking a deep sense of calm, his waterfalls, which he creates with incredible delicacy by pouring paint onto mulberry paper on board, conjure not only the appearance of rushing water, but its sound, smell and feel.
Public installations include seventy-seven murals at Jukoin, a Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto, and a large waterfall at Haneda Airport in Tokyo. The Benesse Art Site of Naoshima Island also houses two large-scale installations. His work is in numerous collections, including the Brooklyn Museum; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Museum of Modern Art, Toyama, Japan; and Yamatane Museum of Art, Tokyo. The Hiroshi Senju Museum Karuizawa opened in 2011 in Japan.